Living with a friend

Living with a roommate – find the right balance

You move in with someone, follow your old, normal living pattern, mind your own business and everything is going to turn out great. Hah! Good one! Living with a roommate is tricky business, especially if you haven’t done it before. There will be differences that you need to settle and sacrifices that you’ll have to make, but if you do things right you will not only have a roommate but a close friend. Here is how to approach sharing an apartment.


When you start living with someone there is going to be a clash. You have your lifestyle and they have theirs and you both think that their’s is right and normal. If you want to live together you will have to take a look at your lifestyles and come to terms on how to make it work. And you will need to know how to communicate with your roommate in order to avoid misunderstandings and arguments.

Good communication is vital when living with a roommate.

Discuss errands regarding apartment

Apartment needs to be clean and tidy. Regardless of how you lived before, this is how it should be. A good way to deal with it is to splint errands in such a way that it is perfectly clear how does what and when. Don’t split your errands by timeframe. For instance, don’t say that one will do the dishes this week, and the other one will do them the next. It might seem like a fair trade, but both of you will constantly feel like you are doing more work. It is better to physically split. You don’t have to split the dishes. Just make sure that everyone cleans behind them. And that it is visibly clear when someone doesn’t.

You should also organize once every two weeks to go over the whole apartment together so that you can see how it’s holding up. It is not uncommon for people to be messy, not because they are lazy, but because they are unaware of just how much mess they are making. But cleaning up after them you are not doing them a favor. It will take some time to get used to, but try to keep an open relationship with your roommate. Figuring out how to live together with a roommate will take time.

Cleaning broom
If everyone would clean behind themselves there would be no mess.

What are your duties to each other

You don’t need to make a “roommate agreement” like Sheldon has in The Big Bang Theory, but you should talk about how you see what living together is. Who buys food? If someone has a car, how do you use it? There are going to be many situations that pop up and that will require resolving. One of the good ways to have a good relationship when you start living with a roommate is to try and put the good of the community in front of yourself. No this is hard to do if the other person is selfish, but try to discuss it. Living with a roommate is much easier when you are both trying to make it pleasant.

Financial issues

Money is always a problem, and it should be dealt with as soon as possible. When do you pay the bills? When do you pay the rent? How do you split the food you buy? These things will pop up, and if they are not solved calmly and rationally there will be a big problem. You both need to pay for bills and rent equally.

When you start living with a roommate don’t ask each other for loans right away. Loans put strains on relationships and you don’t need to start off like that. Start things off with a clean slate and carry your weight. You don’t have to share everything right away. Some people are oblivious to how much they are consuming and therefore won’t pay for their share. Split as much as possible and as you gradually become closer to each other you can start sharing. Similar to when you were getting your moving quotes NYC, you didn’t know how much everything costs and it is much easier to make agreements with someone when you do.

Money is important when living with a roommate
If money is not discussed it will make a huge rift between your roommate and you.

Moving in together

When you move in, you will have to split the apartment. You should figure out what is personal and what is communal and how will take care of communal parts.  A good idea is to try to help each other when the other one is moving in. Even though they may have hired good movers, like Greenwich Village movers you should offer your help. It’s a gesture of goodwill and will give a good start for your friendship. Figure out your daily rhythms and try not to get in each other’s way. You don’t have to spend time together if you don’t want to. Even if you spend it together you don’t have to interact. It is perfectly ok to spend time in the same room not talking to each other. Living with someone and socializing with someone isn’t the same thing and you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable if you are not talking while being in the same room.

Take care of paperwork

When you start living with a roommate there will be some paperwork you should take care of. Consider making a living agreement outlining basic conduct. It doesn’t have to be overly precise. Just make sure to cover the basic regarding communal life. You should check out what rights you have a tenant in NYC in order make adjustments to the agreement. This should give you an outline of how you should conduct yourself and what you should look out for. People come from very different backgrounds and you shouldn’t assume that what you regard as “common knowledge” is known to everyone.  Having a piece of paper that you or your roommate can go over will give you a base from which you can build up your roommate relationship. Make sure that whatever is on it is simple and not open to interpretations. Think of it as a legal document.

Making a document
Outline your life situation with your roommate